Author Archives: Ralph Greco

John Hiatt: Slow Turning

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

John Hiatt: Slow TurningJohn Hiatt
Slow Turning
(A&M Records)

The first time through you’re not gonna find too much fault with John Hiatt’s Slow Turning. Originally released in 1998, this 9th album from the singer/songwriter/guitarist/ gave Hiatt his big hit, the title track. The rest of the 11 tracks are just as masterful little country/ rock commercial ditties.

There is the upbeat opener and semi-rocker, “Drive South,” then the slip and slide wry lyrics to “Trudy And Dave,” (that’s the unsung hero of the early Eagles, Bernie Leadon on banjo). Even when Hiatt gets slow and deliberate, like on “Icy Blue Heart,” ...

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Joe Lynn Turner @ The Cutting Room, NYC 1/26/18

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Joe Lynn Turner @ The Cutting Room, NYC 1/26/18Joe Lynn Turner, one of the seminal voices in heavy rock, blew through The Cutting Room last week like a hellion. With a seasoned 4-piece band  behind him-Dr. Gary Zappa (keyboards), Rob DiMartino (bass), Angus Clark (guitar) and Charlie Z (drums), this was a kinetic hour and a half, mainly made up of tunes from famous band’s Mr. Turner has fronted.

We got Rainbow classics like “Street of Dreams,” “Stone Cold,” and a truly wonderful “Spotlight Kid,” early in the set. “Perfect Strangers,” and an a** kicking version of “Highway Star,” not a tune any vocalist can take lightly (JLT ...

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Voodoo Six: Make Way For The King

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Voodoo Six: Make Way For The KingVoodoo Six
Make Way for the King
(White Knuckle Records)

Voodoo Six: Make Way For The King

Voodoo Six’s fourth and latest studio album, Make Way For The King, boasts twelve brand new tracks and is the band’s first album to feature new vocalist, Nik Taylor-Stoakes. The rest of the band, guitarist Matt Pearce, bassist Tony Newton, and drummer Joe Lazarus, lay out some grooving heavy stuff across the dozen presented here.

The plodding cut of “Electric,” opens with new vocalist Taylor-Stoakes sounding as much like Gary Newman as a screamer of the highest order. There is even a slight commercial vibe to the chorus. It’s a ...

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Steve Hackett: Wuthering Nights: Live in Birmingham

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Steve Hackett: Wuthering Nights: Live in BirminghamSteve Hackett
Wuthering Nights: Live in Birmingham
(Inside Out Music)

Steve Hackett: Wuthering Nights: Live in Birmingham

Steve Hackett’s new CD/DVD Wuthering Nights: Live in Birmingham, celebrates the 40th anniversary of Genesis’ Wind & Wuthering album, and the last studio release from that band that Hackett played in. Here we get two CDs and a stunning DVD of a bunch of Hackett’s solo music, plus Genesis nuggets played with his stellar band, recorded live in concert.

CD one gives us “Behind The Smoke,” featuring a strong Steve Hackett lead vocal, and “El Niño,” from Hackett’s last studio album The Night Siren. The crowd-pleaser (and drummer Gary ...

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Delta Deep: East Coast Live

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Delta Deep: East Coast LiveDelta Deep
East Coast Live
(Frontiers Music SRL)

Delta Deep: East Coast Live

Delta Deep presents a live party CD/DVD on East Coast Live. This band, led by Def Leppard’s guitar wailer Phil Collen, is a heavy blues four-piece. Filmed and recorded at Daryl’s House in Pawling, NY, the rest of the band, Robert DeLeo on bass and backing vocals, Forrest Robinson on drums, and lead vocalist Debbi Blackwell-Cook, complete a strong live outing.

Debbi Blackwell-Cook screams through the opener cover of Led Zep’s “Black Dog,” then the band rolls into their own “Roll The Lid,” a driver featuring Collen just blasting through, ...

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Elena Andújar: Flamenco in Time

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Elena Andújar: Flamenco in TimeElena Andújar
Flamenco in Time
(Wake Up! Music Group)

Elena Andújar: Flamenco in Time

On Elena Andújar’s new album, Flamenco in Time, modern day Flamenco spirits listeners through 7 songs infused with the spectacular singer’s life. Beginning with the mid-tempo percussion bed, Bruce Gomez’s lead guitar as well as Ron Haynes’ trumpet up front with Elena, “Una Vez Más” gets the ride going.

“Fever”  is a percussion/ horn spike read on the famous tune, with Antonio Andújar laying down solid, infectious, precise percussion, and again Haynes getting a workout. We get the Club Mix as well as Matt Waren’s “Latenight Workout” (a thicker dance version) ...

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Neil Young & Promise of the Real: The Visitor

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Neil Young & Promise of the Real: The VisitorNeil Young & Promise of the Real
The Visitor
(Reprise)

Neil Young & Promise of the Real: The Visitor

The stomping, ragtaggle, heavy power-chord opener, “Already Great” begins Neil Yong & Promise of the Real’s second studio collaboration, The Visitor. Young’s whine lends wonderfully to this song as much praising America as he is taking a satirical stab at the man who campaigned with a certain slogan the song takes its title from.

“Fly By Night Deal,” with another trashy beat, sees Young talking more than singing. It follows in very much the same style as the opener. We get some harmonica/acoustic guitar Young by the third tune, “Almost ...

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Charlotte Gainsbourg: Rest

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Charlotte Gainsbourg: RestCharlotte Gainsbourg
Rest
(Because)

Charlotte Gainsbourg: Rest
Charlotte Gainsbourg presents a swirly, dark mess (and I mean that in the best way possible) of 11 songs on her latest release, Rest. Mostly sung in French, the singer/songwriter/actress/daughter of the infamous enfant terrible, Serge Gainsbourg, presents an intimate peek into her emotional state, as she mines nearly horror movie soundtrack territory, sweeping string synths, and arpeggio keys.

“Ring-a-Ring o’Roses” opens with those swirling strings and arpeggios in high evidence, Gainsbourg employing her signature whisper vocal here. “Lying With You” follows with an incessant piano arpeggio, big low string strikes, and even more kinetic ...

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The Waterboys: Out Of All This Blue

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

The Waterboys: Out Of All This Blue

The Waterboys
Out of All This Blue
(BMG UK Limited)

The slap beat snare, organ, and flicking guitar of “Do We Choose Who Love,” opens The Waterboys’ sprawling latest release, Out Of All This Blue. “If I Was Your Boyfriend,” a funky naughty little romp follows, features strings riding high over the distorted guitar and flumpy bass line.

The Waterboys were at one time an Irish/Scottish/ folk/rock band, producing albums like the elegant, This Is The Sea and Fisherman’s Blues. Mike Scott, the band’s leader, singer, songwriter, guitarist (although we can’t forget the instrumental genius of this band with Steve ...

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Cheap Trick: Christmas, Christmas

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Cheap Trick: Christmas, ChristmasCheap Trick
Christmas Christmas
(Big Machine Records)

Cheap Trick presents a treat for us all, Christmas, Christmas, their 19th overall studio album.

Opening with big guitar slicing through Robin Zander’s wailing “Merry Christmas Darlings,” (one of the three original tunes here) into songs like the punk-infused cover of Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz’s (complete with Ramone’s like “Oh oh oh’s”) “I Wish It Was Christmas Today,” and then reads on classics like an electric torchy “Please Come Home For Christmas,” showcasing Rick Nielsen’s still tasty, yet loud, electric leading ability, Cheap Trick brings the holidays home.

The boys upturn ...

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Jools Holland And José Feliciano: As You See Me Now

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Jools Holland And José Feliciano: As You See Me NowJools Holland and José Feliciano
As You See Me Now
(East West Records)

Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra pretty much release music around the end of the year, every year. This time the ex-Squeeze keyboardist/UK music-variety show host has teamed up with José Feliciano for this 14-song holiday treat, As You See Me Now.

A stride piano title track opens up, proving that the great band Holland has behind him is equal to the task of blending with Feliciano’s still very distinctive voice, and amazingly fiery finger guitar playing. The guys ramble through a conga-groove infused read on ...

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Annie Lennox: Songs Of Mass Destruction

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Annie Lennox: Songs Of Mass DestructionAnnie Lennox
Songs of Mass Destruction
(RCA Records)

Annie Lennox: Songs Of Mass Destruction

Annie Lennox’s new album,  Songs Of Mass Destruction opens with the slow simple lament of “Dark Road,” the lady’s ability to break your heart with her singularly expressive pipes is evident from the get go on this release.

Next we get the jumpy, sexy “Love Is Blind.” It’s important to note that the spectacular backing and harmony vocals you hear through these 11 tunes are pretty much all Lennox, and on this tune she pushes herself along perfectly on the kinetic vocal melange bouncing off the piano. “Ghosts in My Machine” gives ...

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Westward: The Empire of Deception

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Westward: The Empire of DeceptionWestward
The Empire of Deception
(Westward)

Westward: The Empire of Deception

Are you ready for “Cowboy Space Rock?” Well, ready or not it’s coming at you on this fantastic new release from Westward with Andrew C. Marshall on lead vocals/lead guitar, Matt Morrison on drums, and Karl Grimm on bass and backing vocals.

Sweeping strings and spoken intro flow into equally slow vocals, introducing us to the “Empire of Deceptionopening title track. Things don’t stay slow though. The band starts rockin’ on this one right quick! Space rock bleeps and power chords groove into “Enchantment” next, the first tune where we hear Marshall’s ...

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Steve Walsh: Black Butterfly

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Steve Walsh: Black ButterflySteve Walsh
Black Butterfly
(Escape Music Ltd)

Steve Walsh: Black Butterfly

Vocalist/ keyboardist/songwriter, Steve Walsh retired from the classic prog American band, Kansas a few years ago. But here, on Black Butterfly, Walsh has unleashes a dozen tunes (most co-written with Tommy Denander who provides all the guitar and co-produces).

“Born In Fire,” and “The Piper” start us off. Steve Overland’s backing vocals lend solid weight to Walsh’s distinctive, if not slightly weaker pipes, while Jerome Mazza duets with Walsh on the first song (he even takes over on a few lead vocals here). Mazza is a stone-cold Walsh sound alike.

“Hell or ...

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Robert Plant: Carry Fire

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Robert Plant: Carry FireRobert Plant
Carry Fire
(Nonesuch)

Robert Plant: Carry Fire

You might get a hint of good old Led Zep on Robert Plant’s 11th studio album, Carry Fire. Yes, he is employing the Sensational Space Shifters band here (Plant has worked with them for the past few years). Their folk, Celtic, Indian, and West African soundscapes rise to the forefront on this album, but from the opener, “May Queen,” (the title an obvious nod to one of Zep’s more famous songs) one is reminded of the Robert Plant of yore even with his softer vocal delivery.

Plant takes on lots of weighty issues ...

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Leon Russell: On a Distant Shore

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Leon Russell: On a Distant ShoreLeon Russell
On a Distant Shore
(Palmetto)

Leon Russell: On a Distant Shore

One man boasting a 50-year career in writing, playing, arranging, and singing that would be impressive if you spread that output across three musicians, Leon Russell was a true American musical icon. After his death last year (at the age of 74) we have Russell’s posthumous album, On a Distant Shore. It features Russell originals and some re-workings of his classics. The scratchy-voiced piano player dips back into his love for the Great American Songbook with lush strings, horns, and full swampy band reads across these perfect dozen tunes.

The album ranges ...

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The Peanut Gallery: Tales From The Basement

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

The Peanut Gallery: Tales From The BasementThe Peanut Gallery
Tales From The Basement

The Peanut Gallery: Tales From The Basement

New Jersey hip-hop duo The Peanut Gallery has dropped a new album, Tales From The Basement. It is quite a unique read on what one usually finds in this genre, complete with some great grooves, and quite a few hard-hitting, expletive-rich raps.

“Deep Thoughts” hits us early on with its trilling arpeggio keys, and slipping synth strings. Here we get the full declaration of what Orlando and his partner, Flee Jones are about (these two men being the brains behind The Gallery).

“Molly Crazy (ft Party of 5IVE)” features “Halloween”-movie trilling, scary ...

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John Carpenter: Anthology (Movie Themes 1974-1998)

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

John Carpenter: Anthology (Movie Themes 1974-1998)John Carpenter
Anthology (Movie Themes 1974-1998)
(Sacred Bones Records)

John Carpenter: Anthology (Movie Themes 1974-1998)

You might just be a fan of John Carpenter’s movies (Halloween, Escape From New York, Starman, and Big Trouble In Little China to name a few). But do you know that the director writes and performs the music for his films as well? This anthology delivers 13 pieces of music from 13 different Carpenter films, both composed and played by Carpenter himself.

It opens with the heavy guitar-riff-led “In The Mouth of Madness” (one of the few here led by electric guitar). Then we roll through the early work ...

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Patrick Grant: A Sequence of Waves (twelve stories and a dream)

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Patrick Grant: A Sequence of Waves (twelve stories and a dream)Patrick Grant
A Sequence of Waves (Twelve Stories and a Dream)
(Peppergreen Media)

Patrick Grant: A Sequence of Waves (twelve stories and a dream)

Musician/composer Patrick Grant certainly presents a rich tapestry with his new album, A Sequence of Waves (Twelve Stories and a Dream).

A slicing viola, mallet percussion, and Dan Cooper’s 7-sting electric bass move us through the arpeggio layer of opener, “Lucid Intervals,” then we slip into jumpy metallic sweeps, and the driving patterns of Grant’s lead guitar on “Driving Patterns.” The big stomps behind the kinetic movements, and wailing guitar moments, remind me of early U.K.

There’s a triplet of tunes midway here that seem to set ...

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The Night Herons: Relevant Noise

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

The Night Herons: Relevant NoiseThe Night Herons
Relevant Noise

The Night Herons: Relevant Noise

The Night Herons—Dana Berry, Mike Assenzio, and  Larry Huene—present their new 15-song album,  Relevant Noise. Opening with the flangy, semi-punk sardonic read of “Compromise,” (the lyrics on this one and throughout are great) intoFighters & Lovers,” with its  power chord groove (the bass cooks on this one) again reveals the neat vocal sounds of Dana Berry.

“Wildfires,” slows things down a bit with great bass lines and some spot-on harmonies and tom-tom work. The low moan bass sounds, atmospheric guitar, and breathy female backing vocals of “Let Me In,” provides another respite ...

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Lisa Fischer and Grand Baton @ SOPAC, 10/14/2017

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Lisa Fischer and Grand Baton @ SOPAC, 10/14/2017Lisa Fischer and Grand Baton, hit New Jersey’s SOPAC with a vengence on October 14th. Per usual (at least the two other times I have seen them) Fischer and Grand Baton like to start things slow, warm up with a little ethereal read, as they did this night with Eric Bibb’s “Don’t Ever Let Nobody Drag You Spirit Down.” But very soon bassist Aidan Carroll was rolling us into “Heart And Soul,” which easily led to “Fever,” where drummer Thierry Arpino came off his set to play cajon. Then things got real good, Fischer and Baton hit  Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song,” ...

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Tangerine Dream: Quantum Gate

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Tangerine Dream: Quantum GateTangerine Dream
Quantum Gate
(KScope Import)

Tangerine Dream: Quantum Gate

The release of Tangerine Dream’s new studio album Quantum Gate coincides with the band’s 50th anniversary. Though the TD’s de-facto leader Edgar Froese died in 2015, he requested that his wife (also the band’s manager) Bianca Froese-Acquaye follow with what he was planning, a new phase of this classic electronica band and brand, their “Quantum Years” music. The remaining members of the band—Thorsten Quaeschning, Ulrich Schnauss, and Hoshiko Yamane—have remained true to Froese’s vision and their band’s usual sound on this nine song opus.

Opening with a metallic tickle under synth sweeps, “Sensing Elements,” ...

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Kid Rock: Sweet Southern Sugar

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Kid Rock: Sweet Southern Sugar

Kid Rock
Sweet Southern Sugar
(BMG Rights Management)

Kid Rock: Sweet Southern Sugar

Sweet Southern Sugar is Kid Rock’s first album made in Nashville, and his first with new label BMG/Broken Bow Records, but it’s that Kid Rock mélange of styles we are used to.

“Greatest Show on Earth,” opens, we get some moans and synths then the snapping drums and main riff gets up and running, very much like what we have heard from Kid before. There’s ballsy bio boasting, singable anthem choruses, and a party sounding band behind him. “Tennessee Mountain Top,” is a heavy, growly bass, mid-tempo rocker, with Rock expounding on ...

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Coral the Merknight vs SEARANTULA: It Weaves a Web of Metal

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

Coral the Merknight vs SEARANTULA: It Weaves a Web of MetalCoral the Merknight vs SEARANTULA
It Weaves a Web of Metal
(Sea Spider Studios)

Coral the Merknight vs SEARANTULA: It Weaves a Web of Metal

The heavy metal guitar and drum plodding of “Disclaimer,” opens It Weaves a Web of Metal. Here, we get a warning about what is to follow, that the listener’s health (mental and otherwise) is at serious risk if one listens further to these 13 fantastically silly metal parody tunes.

Just a title like “Videogames Greater Than Girlfriends” should clue you into what fun you’re going to find here, but Travis Orbin (of Darkest Hour) and Adōn Fanion (of Ghost Ship Octavius) can really play, and ...

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David Gilmour: Live at Pompeii

Source: Short and Sweet NYC » Music

David Gilmour: Live at Pompeii
David Gilmour
Live at Pompeii
(Columbia)

David Gilmour: Live at Pompeii

Live at Pompeii is a new live album (there’s accompanying DVD too) from former Pink Floydian David Gilmour. Gilmour brought his 2015-16 tour to this historic Italian venue where Pink Floyd actually played 45 years ago for their Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii (though for that documentary their wasn’t an audience in attendance save for the band’s film crew and roadies).

Opening with the sweet guitar bends of  “5 A.M,” into the acoustic jangle of the Parisian-tinged (complete with João Mello’s saxophone leading) “Faces Of Stone,” Gilmour starts off with stuff from his most ...

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